The kids and I met Kelly and her dogs at our favorite hiking park this afternoon, in spite of chilly temps and misty rain. I wasn't sure if Kelly would still want to go since the weather is not so nice, but she said she did. She brought cookies and Koolaid for after the hike. :o)
We all bundled up in jackets and gloves. Jacob was not sure he wanted to go hiking. He asked me whether there were snakes and animals where we were going. :o) I told him that we would stay on the paved paths, and probably would see only birds. Banzai alerted to a deer along the trail, though, and some of us saw it run through the trees. Jacob missed it, though. He had run ahead a little way.
I was so glad that we went. Jacob has been quiet and subdued after his parents left, hardly smiling and acting grumpy. I saw a different boy on the hike, smiling, excited and animated. He was interested in everything. Caelen was making up stories to tell him along the way, about storm troopers and Batman. We hiked to the top of the hill where there is a small lookout tower, and they enjoyed being able to see all around.
On the way back we were all cold and ready for a snack. Jakie's little short legs got tired and Caelen carried him on his shoulders for a little way. I was so sad that I had forgotten my camera to get a picture of that.
We said good-bye to Kelly, Darcy and Banzai, and came home to have hot chocolate and read the book we bought yesterday. Caelen recommended Hatchet, by Gary Paulsen. He has already read it, but thought it would be a good chapter book to share. We are enjoying it. So I read aloud while they bundled in fleece blankets.
I came in here to check my email while they were playing hide and seek, but had to stop an argument when someone was cheating. They are playing with the Wii now. Papa has gone to pick up catfish from Popeyes and we'll have dinner soon. I'm going to let them make apple dumplings after dinner.
Reece spent the night last night, and woke up this morning happy to be here with the other kids. He went with us to their Great-Gran's this morning, but we dropped him off at home on the way back. I figured I'd have enough to handle on the hike without another little one. :o) He sure loves his cousins!
It was good to see the smile on Mom's face when five little kids trooped into her apartment this morning. I hope it eased her heartache a little.